Skip to main content

LAKERS TOGETHER: COVID vaccine required by September 30. Face coverings required indoors. 

2016-2017 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

Search Help

Therapeutic Recreation - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Health Professions section in this catalog.

Degree Offered: Bachelor of Science in therapeutic recreation


Therapeutic recreation is an allied health profession involved in the care of patients/clients with a variety of diagnoses and functional limitations across the lifespan. Therapeutic Recreation uses a continuum of services which include recreation therapy (treatment), education, and adapted recreation. These services are provided by using a variety of recreation and leisure activities in order to improve functional abilities and maximize opportunities for persons with special needs to access and become engaged in their communities, thus impacting their overall quality of life.

Therapeutic Recreation/Recreation Therapy at Grand Valley

The therapeutic recreation major leads to a Bachelor of Science degree. The program offers a highly articulated and sequenced curriculum. All students must seek advising from a program faculty member before embarking on the program. The baccalaureate curriculum provides educational opportunities that prepare students for entry level positions in therapeutic recreation. Graduates are prepared to meet patient/client health needs in a dynamic and culturally diverse world by completing a comprehensive curriculum that includes theoretical and practical experience and application. Students need to be able to use clinical reasoning skills such as problem solving, formulating concepts, making judgments, analyzing behaviors and tasks, and determining appropriate intervention. The following abilities are important for students to possess for the therapeutic recreation profession: commitment to learning, interpersonal skills, communication skills, effective use of time and resources, use of constructive feedback, professionalism, responsibility, critical thinking, and stress management skills.


Students who have been accepted by the university through the Admissions Office will follow the outlined procedures: All undergraduate students interested in therapeutic recreation (TR) can declare therapeutic recreation as their designated major at Grand Valley. During their freshmen and sophomore years students will make progress toward completing the general education and therapeutic recreation cognate courses that are required of TR majors and that are pertinent to therapeutic recreation. Students apply to the TR program during the winter semester sophomore year, at which time, if offered a seat into the program they will have their status updated from 'TR declared' to 'TR admitted' status.

The admission process for therapeutic recreation consists of three phases. These phases are outlined as follows

Phase I
Phase I consists of having the following prerequisites met or being currently enrolled at the time of application for admission: overall GPA of 2.7 or above, PSY 101, BIO 120, and CHM 109.

Phase II
Phase II consists of the actual application process. Students must submit all application materials to the Director of the Therapeutic Recreation program. The application consists of the following components, all of which must be completed and submitted by March 1, prior to the intended fall entry (applications available in the College of Health Professions office).

  • Application form.
  • Autobiographical sketch.
  • Statement of professional goals.
  • Fifty hours of volunteer or paid work in a therapeutic setting.
  • Two letters of recommendation from therapeutic recreation specialists, related health care professionals, or other recreation professionals with whom the applicant has completed volunteer or paid work hours.

Phase III

Upon completion of Phases I and II, students who meet the qualifications will be notified of provisional admission into the program and will be asked to schedule an advising appointment with a faculty member in the therapeutic recreation program. Students will be given a permit to register for REC 300, REC 302, REC 304, and REC 389 for the fall semester. Upon successful completion of these courses (80 percent competency/B- in each course), the student will be granted full admission into the therapeutic recreation program.

Transfer students will follow the preceding process and meet the same criteria. Students should note that they are able to complete two years at another institution (i.e., community college). This preparation will facilitate completing the therapeutic recreation program at Grand Valley within the two-year and one-semester rotation of therapeutic recreation coursework.

The following program is available:

Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.